Dukes Go 2-0 to Close Out Arizona Trip

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TEMPE, AZ. James Madison softball went 2-0 on Saturday as the Dukes topped New Mexico State 2-0 before run ruling Lehigh 12-3 in five innings to close out the Arizona State Invitational.

The Dukes went 4-1 on the weekend to improve their season record to 11-5. New Mexico State fell to 9-10 and Lehigh moves to 6-4.

JMU hit five home runs on the day, including four in the contest against Lehigh. Junior Kate Gordon and redshirt senior Megan Good upped their season totals to eight and six, respectively. Sophomore Logan Newton hit her first career home run and finished the game with two against Lehigh.

Scoreless through two innings, sophomore Hannah File singled through the right side for JMU's second hit of the game behind junior Cambry Arnold's in the second. Juniors Gordon and Odicci Alexander reached based on a hit by pitch and a walk, respectively. With bases loaded, Good drew another walk to bring File across the plate (1-0).

Gordon made it 2-0 as she hit a solo home run to left in the bottom of the fifth for her seventh of the year.

In the circle, Good only gave up one hit in seven complete innings to grab her fifth win of the year. She racked up a season-high 12 strikeouts which is two shy of tying her career high of 14 against Birmingham on March 18, 2017.

Sophomore Sara Jubas tallied the first of 12 hits for JMU, hitting a leadoff single to right in the first inning. The Dukes weren't able to bring Jubas in to score, but Good blasted a long ball over the wall in center to give JMU a 1-0 advantage.

The Dukes' offense exploded in the third and began with a double from Jubas. Gordon smashed her second long ball on the day to expand JMU's lead to 3-0. Alexander singled up the middle and Good walked, putting two runners on for Newton at the plate with two outs. Newton crushed her first home run in a JMU uniform over the wall in right to give the Dukes a 6-0 lead.

Lehigh responded in the top of the fourth, tallying three singles and a homer to creep in on JMU's lead, 6-3. The Dukes posted six runs in the bottom of the inning, powered by back-to-back doubles from Alexander and Good. Newton topped off the day with a two-run shot to center for a 12-3 lead.

Picking up her sixth win in the circle, Alexander pitched five complete innings while earning five strikeouts.

"I'm really happy with the way our team finished our Arizona trip. We had consistent hits throughout our lineup during the Lehigh game and I thought we played together as a team. Over the course of the past week, we've faced many strong programs that will help us later on in the season. We're excited to finally play in front of our home crowd on Friday!"

The Dukes return to Harrisonburg for their first home game of the season as they host the JMU Dukes Invitational on March 15-17. JMU will play two games on Friday, facing Saint Joseph's at 12:30 p.m. and Rutgers at 3 p.m.